Local

May 24, 2013

School’s out – Irwin Pool’s open!

Children practice their kicks during a swimming class at Irwin Pool. The outdoor facility opens on Saturday for the summer and swim classes, offered through SKIESUnlimited, begin in June.

When Fort Huachuca youth left school yesterday for the last time this school year it meant the long-awaited summer vacation has arrived!

Tomorrow, they can get in deep water and make their first outdoor splash on Fort Huachuca. Irwin Pool reopens for the summer.

Hours will be: Thursday and Friday, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. for lap swim only, and 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. for open swim; and federal and training holidays, 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. for lap swim only, and 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. for open swim.

The pool has five lifeguards with two on duty at all times, per American Red Cross standards, making for safer swimming conditions. Swimmers can add kickboards and pool buoys to their workouts, and children can increase their swimming confidence by wearing one of the youth life vests available at Irwin Pool.

Don’t enjoy swimming? Come relax in the lounge chairs. Picnic tables and a shaded patio also provide places to relax or socialize.

According to Brittany Whiteley, Fort Huachuca aquatics manager, the pool is a very popular summer spot and busiest on Saturdays. While no new attractions have been added to the pool this year, the recently-installed brick wall surrounding the pool helps keep it cleaner than it was when the facility was enclosed by wire fencing. In earlier years, keeping the facility free of blowing dust was a challenge.

“One goal this year is to keep the pool as clean as possible,” Whitely said. “It’s much easier now than it was in the past.”

A swimmer relaxes in the water while others catch the rays from lounge chairs available for use at Irwin Pool.

She also said the pool staff has set another goal – to keep the pool covered for as long as possible before opening time each day so the water warms up as much as possible before swimmers get in. This is to keep people from experiencing an initial shock of entering 70 to 78 degree water when it is really hot outside.

“That’s been the biggest complaint,” Whiteley stated.

The water slide is a favorite. One recently added popular addition among both young children through middle-aged adults is the rock climbing wall. Climbing begins in the pool. The wall is angled so if people fall, they will land safely in the water.

“It amazes me that the wall is popular with so many adults,” she said, adding that people as old as 50 climb on it.

The pool will be closed to public use during summer youth swim lessons scheduled through SKIESUnlimited. Several levels of instruction will take place from 10 a.m. through 1:45 p.m. June 10 – 13, June 17 – 20, July 8 – 11 and July 15 – 18. For more information about the classes, call 538.6219/6319.

Irwin Pool is open to all authorized Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation patrons, and there is no charge for use. As in the past, the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation staff may offer poolside evening movies or other recreational activities at the facility.

Mohammed Hansen, a former Fort Huachuca lifeguard, attempts to reach the top of the ‘rock’ wall at Irwin Pool. Along with the slides, the wall is a popular attraction for children and adults alike.

Because Irwin Pool can be reserved for special events such as Soldier training, Whiteley suggests users call ahead of their planned swim to ensure the pool is available.

For more pool information, call 533.3858 or visit the Fort Huachuca sports program Facebook page, Hua Sports and Fitness.




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